AT have finally started using Platform 2 at Newmarket, easing transfers between the Southern Line to the Western Line.

Because of this change, you will no longer have to walk up to the main concourse and down again to transfer between the Western and Southern lines. You can read more about my push for it here, and AT’s last update here as it was supposed to go live around Easter last year, however, was likely delayed due to a few infrastructure requirements as well as the current negotiations around the SaFE programme.

AT’s plan is for both doors to open for the Western Line which was different from our plan where we proposed Western services open onto Platform 3 and Southern onto Platform 2 to allow the easiest transfers.

The first clues were when I noticed a new light at Newmarket and tweeted to AT about it. Currently, the issue is you can’t sight the signal from Platform 2 because the train blocks the view. Now on the box where the TM swipes to indicate which way the train is going to go as Newmarket is fully bi-directional; a blue light appears when the signal goes green letting the TM know without the TM needing to sight the actual green signal.

Platform 2 Signal Box

Even after this tweet, it took nearly two more months to go live, but finally, it will be easier to transfer at Newmarket.

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29 comments

  1. This is good news for people who regularly make this trip. Will take the pain out of going up the escalator then back down. Wonder how many people will notice that they no longer have to walk all the way round.

  2. Especially good when you have a bike with you! Notice they or you don’t really explain from the southern perspective going west? Southern & Onehunga trains going north will open on the left then? All I know is on Sunday, I used the Onehunga going north & it opened on the left only. Previously had to go up and over the stairs going this way.

  3. Errr, I don’t get this. Trains from Swanson to Britomart have always used platform 3 at Newmarket. Transferring there to go south was simply a short walk across to platform 4 for both Papakura and Onehunga trains. So how does this new platform usage fix anything?
    However, if coming from south the Britomart/N train pulled into platform 3 and to get a Swanson bound train it was up the escalater and down the one to platform 1.
    What we needed was the from south train to open doors on both platform 2 and platform 3. Then transferring from northbound train to western train was short walk from platform 2 to platform 1. Has this been implemented?

    1. The trains departing on platform two will open doors to both sides, it is in the fine print above.

      So this means west-south and south-west transfers can both be done cross platform (2 to 1 or 3 to 4). It also means that all trains to Britomart from Newmarket leave from the western platform island (1 and 2), and all trains south leave from the eastern island (4).

      It’s basically perfect, all that is left is to pulse the pairs of south and west trains to arrive at the same time at all times. Luckily the lengthy turn around on the western gives a little leeway for delays.

        1. That one doesn’t need to, the westbound train is on platform 1, so you get the cross platform transfer still. It’s only the West to Britomart train that needs to opens both sides for the system to work. I’m about to test that.

  4. So how did they get around their safety concerns?
    I thought AT were worried that the train managers could only see one side of the train when shutting doors?

    1. The doors on the EMUs only close on the side of the train that the Train Manager has their key in the door control.

      On the diesel fleet all doors on the train closed at the same time regardless of which side of the train the Train Manager was operating the door control on.

  5. “a blue light appears when the signal goes green letting the TM know without the TM needing to sight the actual green signal.”

    Riiight.

    Soooo, why not just repeat the actual signal light with a second light on top of the damn box so that it repeats the first and actually goes green when the main signal it repeats for goes green.

    Or is that a little too logical?

    Or the safety minions worried it might confuse someone somewhere, sometime if they had a green light there instead of the blue one? what if was a little green man? Would that pass the safety audit better?

    And how many bits of paper and safety audits, hours of TM & LE training and thus $$$$ did this little piece of bespoke engineering require?

      1. British style repeaters would be wholly unsuitable as our signalling system is fundamentally different from that in Britain.

    1. Last week they told us the train managers didn’t do anything and are not required. Now they are needed to look at a blue light and understand that that means the light is green.

      1. The blue light is used as a simple indication to the Train Manager that the signal on the end of the platform has a -proceed- indication on it for the Driver, not necesarily a green indication.

        There are multiple signal aspect combinations and Train Managers are not trained to understand and read all the various meanings of different signal aspect combinations (which are complicated and are what Drivers are trained to do), just basic proceed and stop understanding, hence the simplified arrangement on the Train Ready To Start posts on the platforms.

        1. Well here’s a thought. Why not replace all of your complex signals with a blue light for the driver. When it comes on they can go.

          1. Its just possible that the driver might need to know what speed to proceed at, how cautiously, and what route has been set …

          2. It’s a thought…but a bad one, the corollary of which would be death, maiming, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    2. “Soooo, why not just repeat the actual signal light”

      Because there are up to 3 individual lights that constitute a departure signal. I can think of 8 combinations that permit the train to proceed and some of those combinations do not include any green indications. The signals are not like traffic lights and the “safety minions” actually understand the railway signalling system, unlike you. Your sarcasm is unwarranted and Harriet’s description is misleading and incomplete.

  6. The stopping markers for 6 and 3 car trains need standardising at Newmarket station along with painted boarding points for the middle low floor carriage on the platforms with the new berthing arrangements and doors now opening on both sides on platforms 2 and 3.

    The 6 car EMU stopping markers on the northern end of the platforms need to be relocated to the northern end of the shelter canopie and to be combined as the 3 car stopping marker as well. In the southbound direction, the 3 car trains would then stop where the drink vending machines are located.

    Doing this will have all trains stopping alongside the shelter canopies, unlike at present, and will have passengers spread out further along the platforms waiting where there is more seating which is presently generally unused on the northern ends of the platforms, whilst at the same time reducing the number of people milling around and blocking up the platforms around the bottom of the escalators where people need to able to move freely onto and off the platforms.

    Having all trains stopping in this position as described above will also have the doors of all trains lining up perfectly with the yellow tactile strip tiles for vision impaired passengers, which lead from the centre of the platform to the edge at regular intervals along the platform.

  7. The inbound Southern line service I was on this morning opened is doors onto platform 2 only. The display board on platform 3 suggested there were no trains stopping there. Have they just switched from platform 3 to 2? If so that seems like a massive waste of time, as there is now a transfer issue when heading from West to South.

    1. Yes inbound Southern Line trains now use Platform 2.

      Inbound Western Line trains open doors on both sides onto both Platform 2 and 3 to enable direct easy transfers across the platform from inbound Western Line trains to outbound Southern Line trains on Platform 4.

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